Monday, March 23, 2015

Kansas On Fire

 "The tallgrass prairie biome depends on prairie fires, a form of wildfire, for its survival and renewal. Tree seedlings and intrusive alien species without fire tolerance are eliminated by periodic fires. Such fires may either be set by humans (for example, Native Americans used fires to drive bison and improve hunting, travel, and visibility) or started naturally by lightning. Researchers' attempts to re-establish small sections of tallgrass prairie in arboretum fashion were unsuccessful until they began to use controlled burns." From Wikipedia.
What a day!!! a smoke-filled day.
I signed up for a photography workshop. We were to go to a 1000 acre cattle ranch in the Flint Hills and photograph a prairie burn. My  photopal and I headed west fairly early in the morning.
All the photographers hooked up then caravaned to the ranch.
The rancher towed us out to the field on a flatbed trailer.
We were given information on photographing these fires.
One important piece of information was "do not change your lens once the fires/smoke started.
There's lots of stuff that could get into a camera and destroy the inner workings.
The action was fast and never stopped. The colors in the smoke changed often...getting more and more dramatic.
This working ranch horse had been acting up for the original rider, so another cowboy got on and started working him.....what a photo op for us!!!
They hauled us back for a "cowboy" dinner. We sat around a fire, eating chili, hotdogs, chips, and cornbread.  Two types of cookies.
Yep~beans!!! how cowboy is that???
After dinner, we got instruction on nighttime shooting.
The skies turned a pinkish color as the sun was setting.
50 Shade of Pink...hahaha
A cowboy working the fire-line.
By this time, my clothes, hair, etc smelled like smoke.
A photo of me near the first burn area of the day.
Just an incredible day!!! 


Out on the prairie said...

What a fun theme to be part of. I like watching burns, they are very powerful. I have helped on quite a few, it is fun to watch the green come in.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Some stunning photos there! No asthmatics in your group, I take it. And beans around a campfire? Hope it didn't turn into "Blazing Saddles!"

turquoisemoon said...

Steve, I've often seen them from a distance, but never up personal and close. Awesome!!!

Debra...hahaha!!! I think everyone was coughing and sneezing by the end of the evening. We did keep a distance from each other after the "cowboy" dinner...hahaha

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What fun! Sounds like a great time. And your photos are fantastic.

turquoisemoon said...

Martha, It was so much fun & extremely exciting.

Arkansas Patti said...

The ranchers in Florida do controlled burns a lot to improve pasture but I have never been up close to one. What an unusual experience. I really liked that night time shot and the many shaded of pink. Surprised they could get the horse to go so close.

turquoisemoon said...

Patti, Those ranch horses worked all day around the fires. They actually pulled the tires that set the fires. It was an amazing experience. I really got some fun shots...just couldn't add everything here.

Cathy Sherman said...

It's amazing how powerful the experience was, because of the grandeur of the Flint Hills, lit by the row upon row of flames. I loved the heat waves at sunset. We had a great time, and I even got one of my photos on here, ha,ha (the one of you!) You know me, I love to take photos of people. And you're one of my favorites! I loved all of the little kids on the farm, too, and how they really enjoyed the experience.

turquoisemoon said...

Cathy...we certainly have some adventures, don't we???

ellen abbott said...

fire is so powerful.

turquoisemoon said...

Ellen, Taking pics of this was exhilarating. This is an amazing event that takes place every year on the Kansas prairie.

One Fly said...

I think maybe you had toooo much fun.

turquoisemoon said...

Fly...never does one have too much fun!!! hahaha

Linda Starr said...

how very interesting about the prairie grasses and great photos of the even

turquoisemoon said...

Linda, They burn the prairies almost every year. I've seen it from a distance, but never close up. It's an amazing thing to see and photograph.